Grammy Award-winning singer Amy Winehouse dies at age 27

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Amy Winehouse, the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter with a well-documented history of drug and alcohol abuse problems, was found dead at her London home on Saturday.  She was 27.

An autopsy performed on Monday found the cause of death to be inconclusive.  Toxicology reports will not be available for another two to four weeks.

According to reports in the UK Sun, Winehouse checked in with her security team on Saturday morning around 10am before heading to bed for a nap from which she did not wake up.  Her security guard, Andrew Morris, found the artist not breathing when he entered her room around 4pm and called emergency services.  Medics determined that she had been dead for several hours.  Police sources reported there was no sign of drugs at the house.

The Sun also reported that Winehouse was having regular check-ups with a doctor because her battle with drugs and alcohol had left her in such a frail condition.  The singer last met with a physician on Friday evening and he left happy with her condition, the newspaper reported.  Less than 24 hours later, Winehouse was found dead.

Winehouse first entered the music scene in 2003 with her debut album “Frank” but it wasn’t until her second album “Back to Black” that Winehouse hit the height of her popularity.  The album featured multiple hit singles including “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab,” a song featuring autobiographical lyrics describing her drug and alcohol problems and her refusal to enter rehabilitation.  “Rehab” won the artist three Grammy Awards in 2008 including Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.  The album was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Pop Vocal Album.  Winehouse also won a Grammy for Best New Artist, bringing her win total to five and setting a record for most Grammys won by a British female performer.

Despite her success, Winehouse was a constant fixture in the media due to her problems with drugs and alcohol.  In 2008, a video surfaced allegedly showing the singer smoking crack cocaine.  She was arrested several times throughout the past couple of years for charges ranging from marijuana possession and other drug related offenses to assault although all charges against her were eventually dropped.  She was in and out of rehabilitation clinics often and the singer, who was a chronic smoker, had developed the early stages of the lung disease Emphysema.  Her live performances began to suffer as a result of her drinking.  According to both and the UK Sun, Winehouse’s last stint in rehab was last May and she began a series of European shows in June.  At her first show, in Belgrade, the singer apparently showed up more than an hour late, repeatedly left the stage mid-performance, forgot lyrics and dropped the microphone.  She was eventually booed off the stage.  Shortly after, many of the future tour dates were cancelled.

Sources told the Sun that as of late, the singer’s health really began to suffer.  She had been admitted to the hospital on a regular basis after suffering from seizures.  Her nervous system was shot to pieces and the last time she was taken to the hospital was about two weeks ago after the collapse of her latest tour.  She was found in the street and taken to a private London clinic.

Winehouse last appeared on stage last Wednesday at a show featuring her 15-year-old goddaughter Dionne Bromfield.  Though Winehouse did not sing, she danced alongside her goddaughter and urged the crowd to buy the teenager’s album.

Winehouse’s mother, Janis, told the Sun that she saw Amy the day before she died, adding that she left her home sadly believing that her death was “only a matter of time.”

“She seemed out of it,” Janis told the newspaper.  “Her passing so suddenly still hasn’t hit me.  I’m glad I saw her when I did.”

Winehouse’s funeral is scheduled to take place sometime on Tuesday.


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